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Rijeka - Spomenik Ivanu pl. Zajcu u Rijeci

Sprawling along the northeastern shores of the Kvarner Gulf, Rijeka has long been thought of as the ugly duckling of Adriatic cities, overshadowed by Split and Dubrovnik to the south.

Recent years have seen a turnaround in the city’s fortunes, however, with industrial heritage, new museums and a vibrant cultural life combining to transform it into one of Croatia’s most compelling destinations.


Rijeka’s central feature is the cafe-lined Korzo, a pedestrianised high-street which runs past a domed eighteenth-century clock-tower. Behind the clock tower is the warren-like Old Town, in which modern glass-and-concrete buildings are juxtaposed with medieval houses, and the imposing Baroque rotunda of St Vitus’s Cathedral.

Galleries & Museums

Rijeka’s stint as European Capital of Culture in 2020 spurred new investment in the arts, most notably in the transformation of the former Benčić Factory into a new cultural hub comprising City Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery, Rijeka City Museum, City Library and Children’s Centre.


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Cacao, Rijeka

Great choice of cakes (b,l,d; €)

Konoba Fiume, Rijeka

Market-side munchies (b,l; €)

Rijeka City Museum

Rijeka from pre-Roman times to punk rock

Maritime Museum of Croatia

Maritime history


Medieval castle & church

Text © Jonathan Bousfield

Image by Fred Romero